Nov 05, 2017

Can Stress Be Good For You?

By: Russ Zalatimo

Every day we are presented with articles on how to “de-stress.” We’re advised that a prolonged amount of stress can manifest itself in both physical and emotional issues to our overall health. It’s become common practice to label all stress as “evil.” However, some stress is actually good for us. Some stress has made successful careers, as well as developed the most significant leaders in our world. The key is to learn what kind of stress is good and just how much of it is beneficial to our lives.

First, understand that anything in excess can be harmful to our bodies. From calories to caffeine—even vitamins and exercise—an overabundance of anything can produce effects that we don’t welcome. Stress is no different. The good news is that our bodies will oftentimes inform us of whether or not the stress of the moment is a friend or foe.

Good stress is a rush and the symptoms are usually positive. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and feels like an adrenaline boost. You can equate that feeling to jumping out of a plane with a parachute (bad stress feels like falling out of a plane—see the distinction?) This stress should happen in small bursts, as our bodies will feel motivated by the stress without wanting to retreat to a corner. Studies have shown that these small bursts of stress can boost our immune systems and brain functions. A comparison can be made at the gym to HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) where the quick doses of hard exercise produce positive effects on our workouts. But just like the HIIT method, it can’t be done for long periods of time as our bodies can’t handle it.

Stress is the same way. The rush of meeting a quick deadline can often make us more productive; feeling like every day is a rat race to the finish will make you less productive. Procrastinators everywhere can attest that crunch time provides them with the best results. Here’s a helpful tip: Give yourself tiny personal deadlines throughout your day to accomplish small tasks. That way you’ll create your “good stress” environment while scratching tasks off your daily list, eliminating the need for a long stretch of work time where your body is under pressure. When you are in control, bad stress is arguably less, leaving room for the good stress to take over.

Also understand what “bad stress” feels like early on, before the life-threatening symptoms can occur. For some, it starts with anxiousness can street be good for you?and a lack of focus. Trouble breathing and heart palpitations are other symptoms that follow. For some, bad stress episodes can even mimic a heart attack. Pay attention to your body’s cues. The issue is that when someone is under prolonged bad stress, the good stress has no room to work its magic, since the stress that all lumps together. Before your body can appreciate good stress, it’s important to manage the bad.

Practice mindful breathing techniques and beginner’s meditation as a start. The more opportunity that your body has time to recover from stressful moments, the better. Light exercise and a healthy diet are also imperative, as is proper rest. Not all defined stress must be treated by a physician or mental health professional, though if you feel that stress is taking its toll on you then these are both beneficial options.

Stress is defined by its feelings, and not just the word itself. Recognizing how much of it is beneficial to your life is the best discovery you can make. Always remember, your body is the best barometer.

Author Profile

R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.